Post a new topic
    3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 25, 2008 3:32 AM by ecomconsult

    Custom Ecommerce, Shopping Cart Software or Hosted Ecommerce

    ecomconsult Adventurer
      Any informed merchant looking to sell online must be facing this question ie whether to get a
      • Custom Ecommerce website developed,
      • Use an Out of the Box Shopping Cart Software or
      • Go with a Hosted Ecommerce Solution
      Each of these have their own advantages and disadvantages but out of them what works best for a merchant that helps him/her start a business with less risk and higher possibilities of becoming successful online.

      I appreciate all inputs on this matter!

      Thanks in advance!
        • Re: Custom Ecommerce, Shopping Cart Software or Hosted Ecommerce
          Steven.C Newbie
          I believe each of these have their own advantages and cons. What would be ideal for one merchant may not necessarily work for the next.

          Custom Ecommerce Website - Will provide you with exactly what you need - nothing more/nothing less; however, often quite expensive to get started.

          Box Solution - Premade ecommerce solutions provide affordable solutions that have worked for many users and are easily customizable. More affordable and more bang for your buck, but may come with more feature than are actually needed. is the solution we have a lot of our ecommerce clients setup with and they are very content.

          Hosted Solutions - Usually still a boxed solution but hosted by the provider. Eliminates the need to worry about the technical mechanics behind the store.

          Just a brief rundown.

          • Re: Custom Ecommerce, Shopping Cart Software or Hosted Ecommerce
            nMoncrief Adventurer
            I am an agent for multiple credit card processors, and most of my clients are e-commerce owners. I also ran my own e-commerce business for 7 years, selling shoes online. I currently process millions of dollars in sales every month for my clients, so I have experience in this area.

            Don't spend a lot of money on a custom website! You can do that later if you're successful. There are plenty of inexpensive options available, especially if you're just getting started. (I have one client who will sell several million dollars worth of boats this Spring alone, all using a simple Yahoo store.) If you want to spend the money for a particular "look", go ahead, but pair it with an off-the-shelf shopping cart. (I have another client who insisted on hiring people to write a custom shopping cart. He got an expensive cart with few features and lots of bugs.) Any of the major carts should work for you, but here's a link where you can review some of the biggest:

            Spend your money on inventory and spend your time writing good content for your site. You've probably already got someone in mind for your website
            development, but if not, chech out On of their
            employees is a friend of mine, and they've done good work for me in the
            past. They design and manage the content for thousands of McDonalds
            websites, so I'm sure they can handle the dynamic content of your
            online car lot.

            When you are ready to launch your website, please
            visit me at There, you will get an instant, anonymous rate quote for your credit card
            transactions. You won't have to provide an email address or phone number, so don't worry about unwanted contact. But feel free to call me with any questions about your website, shopping cart, or payment options. Best of luck to you in your new adventure!

            Neil Moncrief
            Creek Financial Services
              • Re: Custom Ecommerce, Shopping Cart Software or Hosted Ecommerce
                ecomconsult Adventurer
                Well said Neil!!

                The focus of any startup online merchant should be on getting good inventory and writing quality and search engine friendly content and not on getting the ecommerce system developed from scratch.

                Although I do not need a website as I am an Ecommerce Consultant but the idea behind this post is to hear what other experts and merchants think about these three options available and thus figure out the best solution for online merchants.

                You resemble my thoughts that hosted ecommerce solutions like Yahoo! Merchant Solution or Volusion provide the right kind of platform for startup merchants to build their business and this can actually ensure their success beyond this stage.

                One of the major complaints I have seen merchants having with a system like Yahoo! Store is the burden of transaction fee as they grow but to be honest I have seen their sales dropping down after they moved to a custom solution. Because the focus shifted from inventory and good content to building the system as well as there are some core advantages of a system like Yahoo! Store which differentiates it from rest of the ecommerce systems (custom, hosted or out of the box shopping carts).

                Critics welcome!